Gay Bullying

Recently news and media have been awash with reports of incidences of LGBT Bullying and the suicides associated with them. The growing urgency of the matter has compelled numerous reports and campaigns in order to combat the seemingly growing trend behind the incidences. It is becoming more and more apparent that schools and communities must take action to combat LGBT Bullying.

Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. Often, it is repeated over time. Children and youth who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), or are perceived to be so, can face unrelenting teasing and bullying by their peers. Because this aggression can be sexual in nature, the effects closely resemble those of sexual harassment and in some cases may constitute sexual harassment.

LGBT Bullying Statistics:

  • 9 out of 10 LGBT students have experienced harassment at school.
  • LGBT teens are bullied 2 to 3 times as much as straight teens.
  • More than 1/3 of LGBT kids have attempted suicide.
  • LGBT kids are 4 times as likely to attempt suicide then our straight peers.
  • LGBT youth with “highly rejecting” families are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than those whose families accept them.

Attitudes of Students and Teachers:

  • A majority of the students in the Harris Interactive survey admitted knowing gay, lesbian, or bisexual students, and slightly more than one-third of the teachers acknowledged knowing a student with same-sex orientation.
  • Most teachers expressed a strong commitment to These and other materials are available online at: www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov safeguard LGBT students and work to create school climates that are safe and supportive learning environments.
  • When teens in the NMHA survey were asked how they felt about the teasing or bullying of LGBT students, 78 percent disapproved and only 3 percent said this behavior was funny.

The Effects of Anti-LGBT Bullying and Harassment:

  • Surveys of teens indicate that anti-LGBT bullying affects greater numbers of straight students than sexual minority youth. For every lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth who is bullied, four straight students who are perceived to be gay or lesbian are bullied.
  • The stigma and hostilities youth experience from anti-LGBT bullying makes them prone to health risk behaviors, such as skipping school, smoking, alcohol and drug use, and sexual risk. These same risks exist for heterosexual youth perceived to be lesbian or gay, as for non-heterosexual youth who keep their sexual orientation hidden.
  • Lesbian and gay youth who openly admit to their same-sex orientations are at a higher risk of bias-related violence, including physical assaults. The hostilities they regularly confront often lead to dangerous behaviors and injurious outcomes, such as dropping out of school, abusing alcohol and illicit drugs, engaging in criminal activity, and running away from home.
  • Adolescents who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual are more than twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to be depressed and think about or attempt suicide.

(Courtesy of the It Gets Better Campaign and Stop Bullying Now!)


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